Backyard Observatory

Here's How to Watch the First Crewed Spacecraft Launch From the U.S. in Almost 10 Years

The Crew Dragon launch will be a historic event and the first launch on United States soil since 2011.

how to stream crew dragon launch
Courtesy of SpaceX
UPDATE: SpaceX and NASA have officially postponed the launch on Wednesday, May 27 due to inclement weather. Here's what happens next.

It's been almost 10 years since we've had the chance to watch astronauts head to orbit from a facility in the United States. Despite the obvious obstacles of the global pandemic, this is about to change. You're can watch the launch happen live on Wednesday, even if NASA is asking people not to come to Florida to see it in-person. 

NASA will stream the May 30 launch on NASA TV. (You can also watch in the YouTube player below.) You'll be able to see astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken's trip aboard SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft bound for the International Space Station (ISS) at 3:22pm EST on May 30. The Demo-2 mission is a test flight, with the astronauts potentially only staying at the ISS for around a month. (This is the new time for the takeoff following the delay due to weather on May 27.)

The stream will also broadcast the Crew Dragon docking at the ISS about 19 hours after the Crew Dragon leaves Florida.

This will be the first time a private, commercially-built American rocket will take humans to the space station. The launch of the Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon will take place at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the first crewed mission to head to orbit from US soil since July 2011.

The live broadcast will start on NASA TV at 11am. There's a lot going on with the NASA TV stream, but you'll hear comments from NASA's Marie Lews, Dan Huot, Gary Jordan, Derrol Nail, and Tahira Allen. Joining them will be SpaceX's Lauren Lyons, John Insprucker, and Jessie Anderson. Former NASA astronaut Leland Melvin will also join the broadcast. 

After the launch, the commentators will get switched up. You'll hear NASA's Leah Cheshier, Courtney Beasley, Gary Jordan, and Dan Huot, along with SpaceX's Kate Tice, Siva Bharadvaj, and Michael Andrews. You'll also hear Kelly Clarkson sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" from home during the pre-launch broadcast. 

You won't be able to see the docking take place until 10:29am on May 31, about 19 hours after the 3:22pm launch the day before. Tom Cruise might not be shooting a movie on this spacecraft, but it's still going to be an exciting thing to see take place live. 

Ready to go stargazing?

Here are all the best stargazing events that you can get out and see this month or you could stay in a stream the northern lights from home. If you're just getting started, check out our guide to astronomy for beginners

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Dustin Nelson is a Senior Staff Writer at Thrillist. Follow him @dlukenelson.